Owens, 57, said that one of the reasons he was forced to take on a side hustle in addition to acting was because when reruns of “The Cosby Show” were pulled from syndication, his residual checks disappeared with them.
“Yes, it impacted me financially,” the actor told People in a recent interview. “At the time that the show was pulled, that did make a difference in our income. That was one of the elements that led to my getting to the place where I said to myself, ‘I have to do something’ and I was thinking, ‘What can I do?’ and the answer ended up being Trader Joe’s, which is actually a wonderful situation for me in many ways. But I got to the point, I just had to do something to support myself and my family.”
Cosby, 81, was convicted of sexual assault in April and found guilty on three felony counts of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.
Shortly after, reruns of his beloved sitcom – in which Owens played son-in-law Elvin Tibideaux – were pulled from the air.
The actor, 57, was spotted manning the register at a Clifton Trader Joe’s in early September, and photographers of his side hustle quickly went viral.
Owens told People the job-shaming that came along with the photos left him feeling “humiliated” and hurt.
“They went out of their way to find the very worst picture of me, in the worst shirt and the worst posture,” he said. “The words they used to describe me were so demeaning.”
Owens explained that he never believed he’d be financially set for life thanks to “The Cosby Show,” but felt he was doing fine.
“I always expected that one way or another I would work and make a living,” he said. “Whether it was teaching, directing, acting, little job here and little job there, I’d patch it together… The funny thing is, I never go too long without booking something, which is not a surprise, the only issue is, the things that I book last one day or two days at the most. I’ll book something for one day but then not work three or four months.”
The actor has appeared in bit parts in shows like “Elementary, “Divorce” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in recent years.
The outpouring of support for him after the photos were published was swift, and even earned Owens a gig on Tyler Perry’s OWN drama “The Haves and the Have Nots.”
Perry reached out via Twitter offering Owens the job, and TMZ reported Friday that he will appear in a recurring, 10-episode role on the series.
Bill fucked up that re-run money ......